A Year of Change

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” – Terry Pratchett

It’s been exactly a year since August 17th.

August 17th is a very special day in my scrapbook. It’s the celebration of my very first long distance trip completely unsupervised. My first so called adulthood trip. But the trip means so much more, it opened up the world to me in ways that I had imagined before, but had never witnessed firsthand. Or had never really thought possible for an introvert that craved to travel outside of the pack like me. This trip is when I realized that it’s not always about the return to the wild, it’s about the bonds that are made in the process too. I’ve been to some incredible places since, but the locals we met and the adventures they took us on have been the icon of my fondest memories.

So, shoutout to Damien, who met us in a little juice shop in Calgary, Alberta and decided to take a chance on us two clueless girls. You showed us so much kindness and hospitality. You took us around your local hiking trails and also came up to Banff, Alberta and helped us break into a hotel there to take a swim and use the showers. I will truly never forget all the laughter you interjected into our trip.

And, shoutout to Nathan, who saw the two of us sulking at the idea of having to pay for a glacier experience, and instead took us on the most amazing hike to a glacier, which was devoid of the authenticity tainting money trap. You showed us that strangers who offer you to go on an isolated hike aren’t all that scary, and that we were indeed capable of completing an 8 hour hike. Thanks for sharing your potato salad and twizzlers with us when it felt like we would collapse from exhaustion.

And, best for last, shoutout to my spunky, social, best friend Haley who made all of these encounters possible. And also for putting up with me knocking down the tent the one night we actually decided to not sleep in the car. I’m sure being stuck with me in a car for a week was not exactly the easiest, but you were the karaoke partner I needed during my time of “recreation.” We discovered parts of ourselves we didn’t know existed, and that’s an untarnishable link I’m always glad to have. To the oddest jokes, the heartiest laughs, and the wonderfully aching muscles. Love you lots, friend.

Since then I have been from:

Canada to Colorado to Utah to Belize to Arizona to California to Greece to Italy to Iceland

It’s been a wonderful year of traveling to places I never thought I’d visit, and this day was the kick starter for all of it. Most importantly y’all implicitly taught me to take a lot more chances on everything. You opened my eyes up to new ways of traveling and showed me different outlooks on the world. It truly carved my growth.

My life changed August 17th, and I’ll never forget what a better person I’ve become since.

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